RE: UDA revisited and then some

From: Colin Geoffrey Hales <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 10:29:55 +1100 (EST)

> Quentin Anciaux writes:
>> But the point is to assume this "nonsense" to take a "conclusion", to
>> see
>> where it leads. Why imagine a "possible" zombie which is functionnally
>> identical if there weren't any dualistic view in the first place ! Only
>> in
>> dualistic framework it is possible to imagine a functionnally equivalent
>> to
>> human yet lacking consciousness, the other way is that functionnally
>> equivalence *requires* consciousness (you can't have functionnally
>> equivalence without consciousness).
> I think it is logically possible to have functional equivalence but
> structural
> difference with consequently difference in conscious state even though
> external behaviour is the same.
> Stathis Papaioannou

Remember Dave Chalmers with his 'silicon replacement' zombie papers? (a)
Replace every neuron with a silicon "functional equivalent" and (b) hold
the external behaviour identical.

If the 'structural difference' (accounting for consciousness) has a
critical role in function then the assumption of identical external
behaviour is logically flawed. This is the 'philosophical zombie'. Holding
the behaviour to be the same is a meaninglesss impossibility in this

In the case of Chalmers silicon replacement it assumes that everything
that was being done by the neuron is duplicated. What the silicon model
assumes is a) that we know everything there is to know and b) that silicon
replacement/modelling/representation is capable of delivering everything,
even if we did 'know everything' and put it in the model. Bad, bad,
arrogant assumptions.

This is the endless loop that comes about when you make two contradictory
assumptions without being able to know that you are, explore the
consequences and decide you are right/wrong, when the whole scenario is
actually meaningless because the premises are flawed. You can be very
right/wrong in terms of the discussion (philosophy) but say absolutely
nothing useful about anything in the real world (science).

So you've kind of hit upon the real heart of the matter.

Colin Hales

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Received on Mon Nov 27 2006 - 18:30:46 PST

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